Eye Care Blog

How To Treat Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

panoramic shot of young man with towel on eyes lying on pillow

Meibomian glands are eyelid oil glands, the edges of which touch when the eyelids are closed. These glands secrete oil that coats our eyes and prevents tear evaporation. The water layer and the oil layer combine to form the tear film as a whole.

Meibomian gland dysfunction, or MGD, is a disorder in which the glands do not produce an adequate amount of oil, or when the oil that they do produce is of low quality.

The apertures of the oil glands frequently become clogged, resulting in a decreased amount of oil secreted by the glands. The oil that does emerge from the glands may be granular (crusty) or otherwise unhealthy, and it may cause irritation. Long-term blockage of glands causes lasting alterations to the tear film, leading to dry eyes.

Treatment of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

Your doctor will talk to you about strategies to enhance the hygiene of your eyelids and eyelashes in order to remove the dead skin, oil, and bacteria that have built up.

The skin on the eyelids is particularly fragile, so take care not to damage it. Because this is a chronic ailment, therapy and preventative treatment must be done on a daily basis. These treatments should include all or some of the following options, depending on the severity of the condition:

IPL (intense pulsed light) therapy

This system generates light of a certain wavelength, which, when shone on the small blood arteries, causes pigments there to absorb the light. The apparatus is moved over the lower eyelid margin while shields are placed around the eye to protect it. In cases of meibomian gland disease, the purpose of IPL is to lessen the amount of bacteria and inflammation in the eyelids.


The innermost layer of the skin around your eyes is targeted by radiofrequency treatment, which employs heat produced by electrical currents. The heat liquefies anything that may be obstructing the meibomian glands. As a result, your meibomian glands will be able to resume their usual function and release oil into your tears.

Warm Compress

When the border of the eyelid is heated, the amount of oil produced will rise, and the “crusty” oil that has solidified in the glands will melt. Heat can be applied to the eyelids with a damp, warm washcloth for at least four minutes. The washcloth should not be too hot. This helps to soften lash debris and heats the oil, which allows it to flow more easily and makes it more manageable. When there are active symptoms, this should be done twice per day, but for preventive or maintenance, it should only be done once per day.

Lid hygiene

This assists in the removal of oil, germs, and debris that restrict the apertures of the oil glands. Scrub along the lash line on both the upper and lower eyelids lightly using your fingers or a warm towel on the tips of your fingers. If you are unsure of what to use, it is best to consult your physician. It is recommended that you perform a lid scrape once a day.


In addition to the aforementioned strategies, certain individuals can benefit from adding omega-3 fats to their meals as a supplement. The oil that is produced by the meibomian glands is improved in terms of both its quality and its consistency when omega-3 fatty acids are present.

Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in high concentrations in foods like flax seed oil and fish oil. Try blending it into juice, smoothies, or your morning bowl of hot porridge.

Blinking Exercise

Simply close your eyes softly without pressing them shut. Take a pause, then shut your eyes for the next two seconds. While keeping your eyes closed, give your eyelids a slow and gentle squeeze. Relax your eye muscles as you slowly open them.

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